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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 400
inc VAT

A pleasure to use, and takes great photos and videos – the best of the budget CSCs

Specifications

17.3x13mm 16.0-megapixel sensor, 3.0x zoom (28-84mm equivalent), 439g

http://www.parkcameras.com
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IMAGE QUALITY – click images to enlarge

Choosing a winner for image quality is a trickier call, but only because all four cameras are extremely capable. While the GF5 lagged behind the front runners for noise levels in low light, the GF6’s sensor is significantly better, with both lower noise and a higher 16-megapixel resolution. The Sony NEX-3N’s physically larger 16-megapixel sensor helped it to deliver the lowest noise levels in this group, but the GF6 wasn’t far behind. JPEGs started to get a little scruffy at ISO 1600, but it produced respectable snaps up to ISO 6400. Raw shots processed in Lightroom let us produce photos worthy of printing at ISO 6400.

CSC Shootout – IMAGE QUALITY TEST – Sony NEX-3N, Olympus Pen E-PM2, Nikon S1 and Panasonic GF6

Here we compare image quality, in numerous scenarios, between the four current budget CSCs. Click through to YouTube and view at 1080p for 1:1 pixel comparisons

The GF6 also delivered the most reliable image quality on automatic settings. Autofocus was consistently excellent, and exposure settings coped well in high contrast scenes. While the NEX-3N had the edge for image quality in controlled studio tests, the GF6 came out on top more often in our real-world test photos on automatic settings.

Panasonic GF6
JPEGs are packed with detail and rich colours

Panasonic GF6
The sensor and lens has done a fine job of picking out these dark fine details

Panasonic GF6
Lens corner sharpness is excellent, and there’s barely any sign of chromatic aberrations

Panasonic GF6
Details at ISO 3200 are a tad scruffy but at normal viewing and printing sizes it isn’t a concern

CONCLUSION

We’re spoiled for choice, with all four of the current entry-level CSCs offering superb photo and video quality. The devil is in the details, though, and it’s here that the GF6 comes out on top. Its articulated touchscreen makes it comfortable and quick to use, and the fast shot-to-shot times help too. It has Wi-Fi built in, and the widest range of compatible lenses (shared with the Olympus). It comes top for video capture, and in the final analysis, we’re tempted to say that it comes top for photo quality too. We so many strengths and no significant weaknesses, it’s a Best Buy.

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Basic Specifications

Rating*****
CCD effective megapixels16.0 megapixels
CCD size17.3x13mm
Viewfindernone
Viewfinder magnification, coverageN/A
LCD screen size3.0in
LCD screen resolution1,040,000 pixels
Articulated screenYes
Live viewYes
Optical zoom3.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent28-84mm
Image stabilisationoptical, in kit lens
Maximum image resolution4,592×3,448
File formatsJPEG, RAW; AVCHD, MP4 (AVC)

Physical

Memory slotSDXC
Mermory suppliednone
Battery typeLi-ion
Battery Life (tested)330 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV, mini HDMI, Wi-Fi, NFC
Body materialplastic
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier2.0x
Kit lens model namePanasonic H-FS1442A
AccessoriesUSB cable
Weight439g
Size65x112x97mm

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£400
Supplierhttp://www.parkcameras.com
Detailswww.panasonic.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed60 to 1/4,000 seconds
Aperture rangef/3.5-22 (wide), f/5.6-22 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution)160 to 25600
Exposure compensation+/-3 EV
White balanceauto, 5 presets with fine tuning, manual, Kelvin
Additional image controlscontrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction, i.Dynamic, shading compensation, colour space
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus20cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, flexible spot, pinpoint, face detect, tracking
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket, HDR, panorama, time lapse, stop motion